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Dan & Hut discuss gut issues, why they are NOT NORMAL, and how they can be solved:
Hut: Today we’re going to talk about gut health. This is a huge topic and affects so much in your overall health and fitness. Let’s talk about gut health today.
Dan: This can go in so many different directions, like Hut said. The gut is actually known in medicine as the second brain. There are a lot of things that go on within the gut that affect your sleep and your mood and all these different sorts of things. For example, the supplement melatonin, which I’m sure many of you have heard of before that helps you sleep, there’s actually 400 times more melatonin in the GI tract than there is in the brain.
It tells you how much hormones that affect your mood and your sleep go on within the gut—and that’s just a single example. It’s definitely a big topic. It’s also a super common topic. If you’re a nutrition specialist in this field, you have to educate yourself on the gut. Probably the most complaints that I get are about acid reflux, bloating, “I’m constipated,” or “I have loose stools.”
There are so many different areas in which people’s GI health, or gastrointestinal health, affects the physiology very negatively but then also just through lifestyle…you don’t want those things kicking around. When it comes to something, say, like acid reflux, first of all, we should be looking at the root of an issue and not just trying to throw a band-aid at it.
A guy like me, I’m thinking a little bit differently. When you get acid reflux coming up, it’s not because you just have way too much acid in your stomach. That’s very rarely the case. You should be asking yourself, not just, “Okay, there’s acid in my throat right now and it hurts,” but, “Why is that happening?”
Why is your body sending acid up the esophagus and causing pain? This is almost always the issue, and it’s actually the reverse of what you would think. It’s not too much acid in the stomach. It’s actually too little acid. What happens is stress, poor sleep, poor immune function, poor dieting, not knowing what you’re sensitive and allergic to within your diet can all decrease something in the stomach that’s known as hydrochloric acid or HCl for short.
We need HCl to break down all protein that’s coming in the body. When digestion happens, it begins in the stomach, it moves into the small intestine and then into the large intestine and then out of us…but it begins in the stomach. When protein comes down and comes into the stomach, it’s drenched with hydrochloric acid, because that’s the only thing that’s going to chop that protein into amino-acid chains.
If you don’t have enough HCl, say stress—stress is a perfect example of something that can lower your HCl, that almost everybody is subjected to. If you don’t have enough HCl, that protein putrefies within the stomach. It goes undigested and bacteria has to eat it up to try to break it down. It’s that bacteria that’s sending the HCl to fly back up the esophagus.
It’s not that too much is there that’s burning you. It’s actually that too little there. This can be remedied with proper supplementation and paying attention to your diet. The problem is, a lot of people will just start taking antacids so they’re popping Tums. This is okay for a very temporary solution.
Hut: It’s not solving the problem.
Dan: It’s not solving the problem and a lot of those contain aluminum. You look on the label and in a lot of antacids the first ingredient is aluminum. Aluminum is a heavy metal that you don’t want to be taking too much of. Another reason is, if you’re having aluminum with a vitamin C source, such as any vegetable or your multivitamin, vitamin C enhances the absorption of metals in the body. You’re actually getting even more absorbed aluminum in the body, which is not a good thing.
Hut: Yes. I hear from clients of ours that they’ve been identified as having leaky gut syndrome and those types of things. How does that affect somebody when they have something like that going on in their gut?
Dan: Leaky gut, first and foremost, is actual small holes within the small intestine, when you are subjected to eating too many foods that are not nourishing your body. What I’m referring to here is understanding what foods you’re sensitive to and which foods are pro-inflammatory for your body.
A lot of people just don’t know what foods they’re sensitive to because they’ve never done a panel and they find that they’re sensitive to chicken or broccoli or pork or, very often, milk and eggs. We find these things are pro-inflammatory and over time, when you keep bringing inflammation into the body, it can create small, little holes within the small intestine and the immune system hates it.
When you’re going through digestion, going back to the protein example, you have a whole protein and it’s broken down into chains of amino acids in the stomach (chains or peptides) and then once it enters the small intestine, it’s broken up into very small peptide chains or single amino acids. Single amino acids and very small peptides chains can enter circulation and nourish our body.
What happens when somebody has leaky gut is when a full protein molecule goes into the blood stream and the immune system sees it as an invader and attacks it and creates inflammation inside the body, which causes bloating, gas and a lot of other issues, mentally, but also in the gut.
Hut: Let’s say you have leaky gut syndrome. I’ve heard people say it takes years to fix a leaky gut problem. Does it take years to fix?
Dan: No, it doesn’t take years if you know what you’re doing.
Dan: Depending on how severe the problem is and you know what you’re sensitive to, and you know the rebuilding protocol that you need to be doing, it’s absolutely not going to take years.
Hut: Great. The biggest thing is to identify the problem and then come up with the solution.
Hut: I think we could talk about this for an extended period of time but this has already been a long video. I just wanted to shed some light. Gut health is huge. If you have gastrointestinal issues, bloating, constipation, that’s all a result of an unhealthy gut that you’ve got to identify and go fix.
Dan: Once again, very common but not normal. Your gut shouldn’t be looking like you’re pregnant after a meal. You shouldn’t have a ton of gas. You shouldn’t have acid reflux. You shouldn’t be belching all kinds. These are signs of digestive inefficiencies.
Hut: That concludes our video on gut health. We look forward to talking to you again in the near future.
Dan: See ya!
P.S. from Hut: Make sure you open all the e-mails I send you on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. Central Standard Time, for more solid info about how our Lab-Based Nutrition program is the blueprint to your best body over 40!